By this point, it’s pretty obvious that working from home certainly has its perks. I get a lot fewer missed-delivery notifications from UPS. I’ve enjoyed using my real kitchen to whip up some mean lunches. Oh, and commute time is one of the strongest predictors of overall life happiness – so there’s that.
But, there’s certainly a tradeoff in terms of our diminished surface area. Less time in a shared workspace means fewer chances to meet new people and develop the relationships that are so beneficial to us both professionally and personally.
That’s where we arrive at one of the most joyful apps I’ve discovered in the past few years: Lunchclub.
Their website doesn’t do a great job selling the product to be honest, so here’s the gist of it. You sign up, fill in a little professional bio about yourself, select a few time slots, and it’s algorithm matches you with interesting people to have video calls with. Think LinkedIn meets ChatRoulette.
It is not much of a stretch to say that meeting people on Lunchclub over the past year-ish has been the single best professional move I’ve made in a long time. Every week, I meet and connect with new people that have fascinating stories and insights, and I look forward to the email I get every Tuesday announcing my next matches.
Some of these people have become IRL friends and clients. A huge number have been great conversations and turned into loose connections that might become something wonderful one day. And a handful have been total weirdos or annoying sales-types – but that’s the vanishingly small minority.
For a moment there, I was hoping on three calls a week, but that was a bit too much. I’ve since found that two is the sweet spot – a constant stream of new perspectives, but not an overwhelming part of your calendar.
So, if you want to get those extra at-bats, lottery tickets, or whatever other metaphor for our “surface area,” give it a shot. Maybe I’ll see you on there.